This solitary Canada goose making a hot landing on Gaddy's Pond, a refuge for peripatetic honkers in Ansonville, North Carolina, was photographed by David Goodnow, a patient and ingenious man. Using a high-speed sequence camera of his own jealously guarded design, which he likens to a Rolls engine within a Ford chassis, and a 360-mm telephoto lens, Goodnow crouched on the shore early one morning to record the feathery descent 100 feet distant. The frames shown above were selected from a sequence shot 25 to a second. Goodnow, who has photographed geese as fast as 50 frames a second, has discovered little, he wistfully relates, beyond the fact that a Canada completes a wingbeat every .24 seconds.
Descending Goose touches down (1) as rigid feet, partially spread tail brake impact. Honker uses powerful wingbeat (2) to retard skid, ease entry into water. Recovery stroke (3) occurs as goose "breaks wrists." Before next stroke is completed (4), goose uses its now submerged body (5) as final brake, then folds wings.